10 Hotels That Look Like They Are From Another Planet

The more we travel and seek out new hotels, the more we uncover properties that wow us with their striking architecture and design. The hotels we visit these days aren't just places to rest our heads — they're destinations unto themselves. From Canada to Chile, these 10 left a lasting impression. 

Michelle is the travel writer, photographer and wanderer behind the site She has spent the last two years on the road working from a laptop and exploring some of the most beautiful places around the globe. You can see her travel highlights over on her Instagram @Livelikeitsthewknd

See recent posts by Michelle Halpern

Interior seating space with wall sized windows showing the lush outdoors
Wooden and warm room interior with queen sized bed
Lush green and dreamy exterior of Huilo Huilo Montaña Mágica
Lush green and dreamy exterior of Huilo Huilo Montaña Mágica

Huilo Huilo Montaña Mágica, Chile

It’s hard to believe that Montaña Mágica Lodge in Chile’s Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve was built with human hands. The lush cone shaped structure resembles something you might find in a Lord of the Rings film, featuring a permanent waterfall that flows between guests windows. It’s the perfect setting, really, for visitors to enjoy the surrounding natural reserve in the heart of the Chilean Patagonian Rainforest. Guests can explore the nearby Huilo-Huilo Falls, ride on the longest zip line system in South America, then end the day with a decadent spa treatment back at the hotel. 

Large box room made up of sticks
Boutique Hotels Sweden tree outdoor Nature woodland Forest woody plant path leaf plant wood sunlight old growth forest wooded biome autumn temperate coniferous forest grove spruce fir forest temperate broadleaf and mixed forest house landscape branch state park area
Reflective large box in the trees used as a hotel room

Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

Owned and built by Swedish Lapland locals, Kent Lindvall and Britta Jonsson, the Treehotel is a work of untamed imagination that seamlessly blends with the surrounding natural landscape. Located in Harads, a village of only 600 and not far from the Arctic Circle, the Treehotel includes a collection of seven suspended tree-top accommodation–all with a unique design. We love the Mirrorcube (a 2 person treehouse featuring mirrored walls), the Bird’s Nest (a larger-than-life-sized treehouse that looks exactly how it sounds), and the UFO (the most futuristic-looking of the bunch). 

Unusual building with ornate staircases, Guest house hang nga" crazy house in Dalat. house in Vietnam
Bizarre construction of the Crazy house in Dalat, Vietnam
Bizarre construction of the Crazy house in Dalat, Vietnam

Crazy House, Da Lat, Vietnam

Hằng Nga guesthouse, more commonly known as the “Crazy House” in Da Lat Vietnam is a place where fairy tale visions come to life. Vietnamese architect Đặng Việt Nga doesn’t use blueprints or standard architectural planning devices — instead, Nga creates paintings of her ideas and then hires local craftsmen to bring her artworks into physical form. Since its official opening in 1990, the house has been under perpetual construction, constantly changing and expanding, but one common theme remains — there are almost no right angles and straight lines, only the natural twists and turns inspired by organic structures found in nature. 

RELATED: 9 Life-Changing Trips to Asia 

Odd shaped swimming pool on deck
Small pods in the middle of dry landscape on a blue starry night
Small hotel room pods in the middle of a dry landscape
One large hotel area with a bunch of little pod hotel rooms raised behind

Encuentro Guadalupe, Mexico

Set in the rocky hillside of Mexico’s up and coming wine region in the Guadalupe Valley (just two hours south of San Diego), Encuentro Guadalupe is a design-conscious property that seems more fitting for a lunar colony. Grupo Habita used materials—steel, wood, glass–from the Baja California region to build the 20 stilted, box-like cabins, which dot 244 acres. 

Hanging pod hotel room on side of mountain at night
Room pods hanging on mountain sides with view of valley at night
Skylodge pods hanging on the side of a mountain

Photos: Natura Vive


Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru

Travelers making their way through Peru’s Sacred Valley will be shocked at first sight of Sky Lodge Adventure Suite’s transparent hanging capsules that seem to stick to the cliffside like barnacles. But if you’re in on the secret, you know that this is Peru’s most adventurous place to stay. Guests who dare to sleep 1300 feet above ground need to climb or hike to reach their bedroom— but the challenge is worth it thanks to the 300 degree views of the mystical Sacred Valley. 

Photo: Sarah Murray


Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia

Take one look at Tunisia’s Hotel Sidi Driss, and it’s easy to see why George Lucas picked the Berber-style structure as the setting for Tatooine in his Star Wars films. The sandstone caverns are simple, with shared bathrooms and tiny bedrooms, but you’re really here to experience what it’s like to live in a galaxy far, far away. 

Hotel Puerta America Interior

Hotel Puerta América, Madrid

A unique design project that combines talent from 19 of the top architects and designers in the world–Norman Foster, Teresa Sapey, Vittorio & Lucchino, Jean Nouvel, and Arata Isozaki, to name a few–Hotel Puerta América in Madrid is just as much a livable museum as it is a hotel. Each floor of the property was the brainchild of a different visionary. One of our favorites: the Zaha Hadid floor, which was designed with floor-to-ceiling white fiberglass, and no straight lines in sight. 

RELATED: 9 Design Hotels That You’ll Want to Add to Your Bucket List 

Room interior with open door in spherical hotel room
Sphere hotel room in the trees

Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia, Canada

Inspired by the glamping and treehouse hotel trend, Free Spirit Spheres puts a futuristic spin on the back-to-nature experience. The three spherical structures look like eyeball-esque spaceships, with circular windows that look out onto the Canadian forest. Set among the coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island, it’s the ultimate adults-only playground. 

Woman walking into a pool within another pool
Open bathroom with a view of the ocean and pools
Pool within more water
Courtyard at dusk with egg shaped nest and pathways over water

Viceroy Los Cabos, Mexico

If hotel staff were suddenly replaced by robots and drones delivered your morning breakfast in bed, you might imagine this all taking place at a setting like the Viceroy Los Cabos on Mexico’s Sea of Cortes. Formerly known as Mar Adentro, The Viceroy Hotel Group claimed ownership of the modernist design-lover’s dreamscape, and puts its own renovations and finishing touches on the waterfront landmark before reopening in May 2018. While certain elements have changed, it’s still the vision of stark beauty conceptualized by architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. With electric-white buildings seemingly floating on the sides of an elevated walkway that runs through a series of reflecting pools, the stunning structure acts as a blank canvas — albeit a very forward-thinking one. Guests are there to take in the surrounding beach views and dramatic desert landscape undistracted by commotion or chaotic design.

Exterior of ION Adventure Hotel
Architecture Boutique calm clouds cloudy contemporary dawn Design dusk Elegant extravagant fancy Hotels Iceland isolation Luxury majestic Modern Mountains Nature outdoor pool Outdoors Patio pink pink sky Pool private private pool purple sky reflection regal remote serene sophisticated Style + Design Sunset Terrace view pier outdoor scene wooden ground sky blue Ocean Sea vacation evening morning estate sunlight Beach screenshot wood overlooking
Black exterior of ION
Exterior of ION Adventure Hotel on stilts at night with Northern Lights overhead

Ion Adventure Hotel, Iceland

The geometric aluminum exterior of Iceland’s ION Adventure hotel juts out of the countryside like a robotic caterpillar, providing head on views of the surrounding landscape. The once abandoned inn revamped by design studio Minarc is now one of the country’s premier luxury hotels and holds prime real estate near Thingvellir National Park. The otherworldly vibe extends to the interiors as well, which is done up in salvaged driftwood, concrete and lava. 

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